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  • Soo Locks to open March 25 for 2022 shipping season

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, Soo Area Office will open the Poe Lock, 12:01 a.m., March 25, marking the 2022 Great Lakes shipping season start. The operating season is fixed by federal regulation and driven in part by the feasibility of vessels operating in typical Great Lakes ice conditions. The Poe Lock officially closed January 16 to undergo critical repairs and maintenance during the 10 week-long winter shutdown. Maintenance crews performed a variety of critical tasks on the Poe Lock, including hydraulic steel structure inspections, miter gate bottom girder structural repair and seal replacement, miter gate pintle concrete repairs, valve machinery repairs, and dewatering system maintenance.
  • Corps of Engineers selects Enbridge Line 5 tunnel project EIS contractor

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, expects the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process for Enbridge Line 5’s tunnel permit application to begin soon following its selection of a contractor to prepare the EIS. The Detroit District, responsible for the tunnel project permit request review, selected Maryland-based Potomac-Hudson Engineering, Inc. as the third-party contractor to prepare the EIS for Enbridge’s proposed Line 5 Tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac. An EIS is a thorough and comprehensive National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document the Detroit District will use in making a permit decision.
  • Scenarios product provides insight to potential future water levels

    DETROIT- Using historical data similar to recent conditions, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Future Scenarios product illustrates Great Lakes’ water level variabilities. “The tool allows us to investigate the different meteorological or hydrological conditions impacting the Great Lakes basin and how it affects water levels,” said Detroit District Watershed Hydrology Section Physical Scientist Deanna Apps. “You may find this product helpful to better understand the variability in water levels that could occur under certain scenarios.” Apps, who is also a lead water level forecaster explains the scenario-based tool that is publicly available on the Corps of Engineers’ website in the sixth ‘On the Level’ video, available on the Detroit District’s YouTube page at: https://youtu.be/Jyl8RkNBIy0.
  • Corps of Engineers receiving $561 million from infrastructure bill for Michigan, Great Lakes

    DETROIT - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Detroit District is receiving $561 million in fiscal year 2022 of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (DRSAA) funds for work in Michigan and on the Great Lakes. IIJA operations and maintenance funds are allocated one year at a time. More funding across the Great Lakes is likely for fiscal years 23 and 24, but the determination will come at a later time. “The IIJA funding is for major Civil Works mission areas, including navigation, aquatic ecosystem restoration and flood damage reduction,” said Detroit District Deputy District Engineer Kevin McDaniels. “The majority of money the Detroit District is receiving will fund construction of the New Lock at the Soo project.”
  • Soo Locks closing for seasonal repair, maintenance

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., - The Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan will close to marine traffic beginning 11:59 p.m. January 15 through 12:01 a.m. March 25 to perform critical maintenance. The operating season is fixed by federal regulation and is driven in part by the feasibility of vessels operating in typical Great Lakes ice conditions. “It is a difficult time in terms of weather to complete this work, but it keeps this important national infrastructure project operating during shipping season,” Soo Area Engineer Kevin Sprague said.
  • Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center transitions to winter schedule

    DULUTH, Minn., – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is transitioning the operating hours of the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center in Canal Park to its winter schedule after the holidays. The Detroit District’s Duluth Area Office Visitor Center winter schedule will begin the week of Jan. 16, 2022 and will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Visitor Center will be open at the following dates and times during the holidays: • Dec. 20, 23, 27 and 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. • Jan. 3, 6-10 and 14-16 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • USACE researchers collaborate with Native American tribes to improve wildrice productivity

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) researchers are working with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and other Native American tribes to help improve wildrice (Zizania palustris) productivity. The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) work is supporting two six-year USACE Detroit District Planning Assistance to States studies. Wildrice, or “manoomin” in the Anishinaabe or Ojibwe language, is found in fringe and riparian wetlands along lakes and rivers in the Great Lakes region. It is culturally significant and an important food source for Great Lake region Native American tribes. Wildrice is also a vital part of traditional religious ceremonies for these tribes. The Native American tribes harvest wildrice using traditional methods. Called “knocking the rice,” harvesters gently guide a canoe through the rice while using “knockers” to carefully knock or brush ripe rice into the canoe, taking great care not to damage the plants. This centuries-old method helps sustain wildrice stands.
  • MacArthur Lock closing for seasonal repair, maintenance

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., - The Soo Locks’ MacArthur Lock will close to marine traffic 7:00 a.m. Dec. 15, 2021 through 12:01 a.m. April 30, 2022 to perform critical maintenance. The Poe Lock will remain open until 11:59 p.m. Jan. 15, 2022 or until commercial traffic ceases, whichever occurs first. The operating season is fixed by federal regulation and is driven in part by vessel operation ability in typical ice conditions. “The 800-foot-long MacArthur Lock, built in 1943, is 78 years old; the maintenance period is critical to keeping the lock in operation during the shipping season,” Maintenance Branch Chief LeighAnn Ryckeghem said.
  • Measuring Great Lakes flows helps forecast water levels

    DETROIT- Monitoring the amount of water moving through the Great Lakes system is important to help forecast Great Lakes water levels and support international monitoring efforts. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials physically measure discharge, or flow, in the connecting channels using acoustic technology. Monthly flow in the connecting channels is the largest contributing factor to the level of each Great Lake and is a critical piece in forecasting Great Lakes water levels. Detroit District Hydraulic Engineer, Matt McClerren demonstrates flow measurement on the Detroit River and how the Corps of Engineers estimates monthly flows the fifth ‘On the Level’ video, available on the district’s website at https://go.usa.gov/xFEWx.
  • Corps of Engineers share fall and winter water level outlook

    DETROIT- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials forecast Great Lakes water levels to continue seasonal water level decline in the coming months. Detroit District Watershed Hydrology Section Chief Keith Kompoltowicz and Watershed Hydrology Section Physical Scientist and lead water level forecaster Dee Apps discuss this fall and winter’s water levels outlook in the fourth ‘On the Level’ video, available on the district’s website at https://go.usa.gov/xFEWx. The outlook is based on the latest six-month water level forecast. “During the fall and early winter, water levels typically decline as a result of increased evaporation,” according to Kompoltowicz. “Evaporation is highest during this time of year as a result of the colder air that enters the region and moves over the relatively warm lake water surfaces.”